"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced" - James Baldwin
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
Left Field after five years
published in 2016 and, published by Unbound and distributed bt Penquin, is still available in shops, as an e-book
and in Audible.
intervening years have been ones of personal and political hope and
of personal and political despair. In other words, nothing out of the
surprisingly for someone in my seventh decade, these have been years
when close friends have left this planet while I remain clinging to
its edges, aware of Leonard Cohen’s words to Marianne Ihlen that,
“I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I
think you can reach mine.”
subdural haematoma operation I wrote about in Left
followed two years later by a heart valve operation, then a stroke
caused by infection of my new valve. I used my hospital stays to
for an NHSthat
had now saved my life three times.
am proud that the unfairly much-vilified Jeremy Corbyn visited me when I was
in St Barts Hospital. The worst insult he has had to endure has been ‘anti-semitism’ accusations about a man who has been at the
forefront of anti-racism struggles all his life.
To that end, I
helped organise a letter in his support signed by Ken Loach, Brian Eno,
Grime4Corbyn, Nigel Kennedy, Alexei Sayle and thousands of others, I consider Corbyn to be our El Pepe.
His visit to me was organised by Alice Kilroy whose recent death has left my grip on the planet edges more enfeebled. She was a wonderful friend and visited me in hospital more times than anyone outside my immediate family. I miss her. Here she is with the banner she made for my 70th birthday.
Before she died in February 2020, Alice asked me to take over her work as one of the contributors to People's Campaign for Corbyn Facebook. You can view all these blogs on my website at www.davidwilson.org.uk
Plenty to keep me busy and angry in support of Jeremy, but am also finding time to write a new book, about food and memory. Because of my age and medical history I am under virtual house arrest with Covid-19 so I have plenty of time.
years have been ones when my eldest son lost and won back his
disablity benefits. Many haven’t and many have lost their lives in the process.
have also been years of loss for me, not of the dead, but of a living son who has ghosted me. I
wrote about this under a pseudonym for Stand Alone, a charity set up by a
friend of mine for people estranged from their families.
past as co-founder of the charity War Child still haunts me and hope
it haunts those I write critically about here. I recently learned
that the present War Child CEO receives an annual salary of £108,000.
hope I will be able to visit my eldest son Ben in Cornwall soon. The last time we met was when Dubioza Kolektiv were gigging in London. I will then take the longer journey to Mostar to stay with my Bosnian
family who I wrote about in Left Field. Dubioza's drummer, Senad Suta, gave me his drumsticks after that gig. The less said about their rakija the better.
Here in London I have been trying to play guitar again. My left hand was weakened by the stroke. My music friends are at Camden Guitars and the owner, Deicola Neves, tells me off when I complain. "Didn't you know that Django Reinhardt only had three fingers?